Some may consider this statement a stretch, but this comeback personally takes the crown as one of Monsta X’s best title tracks. It’s jazzy, stylish, and hits all the right notes to have Monbebes savor the performance from start to finish. The song’s composition brings out the best that each member has to offer, from enhanced vocals to a solid rap line – and some beautiful adlibs. Moreover, “Love” solidifies the group’s talents and performance knack as they’ve fully adjusted to this new phase of five members (leader Shownu is currently enlisted in the military). The difference was hardly noticeable compared to the quality they delivered, and it certainly proves that they shine under any circumstances.

First off, the dual use of a stage set is a creative way to hint at their love for their fans. Indeed, “Love” can be interpreted as a song for Monbebes, and it’s only fitting that they literally perform it for fans to enjoy. There is also visual diversity at play from seeing them perform on an empty versus glitzy stage, with plenty of fan service to go around (with duo shots and a much-needed quintet setup). In fact, the first choreographic scene on an empty stage is a kind of “dress rehearsal” for the final performance in the latter half of the MV. This juxtaposition further enhances a “fan perspective,” and sends the message of love across to their fans.

Following suit with that concept, the actual stage performance is reminiscent of a gorgeous Music Bank or Gayo live setup, with outfits, lights, and set design in check. From full-group choreography to Joohoney’s solo mic stand and the sparkle showers for Kihyun and Hyungwon, the group fully utilized the stage, making them shine the brightest as artists in their own production. Whoever directed the visual and stylistic aspects of this MV and concept also did a great job: the members look their best yet, and fully embody the aesthetic theme that “Love” aims for.

Second, if the set designer creatively utilized the concept of a stage, their stylists embodied the multiple uses a simple suit can carry. From casual at the beginning to dressy at the end, white against black for Joohoney and even a see-through inside for I.M, the main dress code is pulled off effortlessly. It also fully contributes to the visual theme of the MV, linking multiple parts of the production together. In addition, for the opening choreography sequence, every member’s suit tastefully utilizes color prints in a way that meshes with each outfit without overwhelming it. This was particularly appealing for Kihyun and Minhyuk’s red-tone attire, which already set itself apart from the remaining members’ simpler black palettes.

In contrast to formalwear, the members also don casual wear for the introduction (sweater or denim jacket) with thoughtful accessories attached here and there to accentuate each look. The finale, on the other hand, reserved plenty of glitter and sequins to appropriately match the golden stage set. The contrast and balance of black and gold versus mixed color plays out well in the MV, as every set includes just enough pop to catch and keep our attention.

Altogether, “Love” is a high-quality performance MV that ticks off all the boxes of what makes the production memorable: outfits, aesthetic, a unified thematic palette, and most of all, the group shining as the main view. The song is also quite a bop, and the comeback as a whole keeps the group under a promising spotlight, particularly ahead of their seventh anniversary coming up in mid-May. While seven years may seem like a long time, it’s endearing to see them consistently promoting as a whole team.

Monsta X is a group that is consistently welcome to change – whether that be in music style and genre or the number of members currently promoting with them. Listening to previous tracks brought about a wave of nostalgia, but also to a certain degree, it felt like witnessing a sure and steady progression. Yes, previous concepts and title tracks can sound different when juxtaposed against newer tracks. Still, taking the time to listen to both sides only proved that the group has kept maturing their own color and sound.

What did you think of Monsta X’s latest comeback? Let us know in the comments below!

(YouTube; images via Starship Entertainment)